Coldstream is believed to be the largest community in B.C. without a licensed care facility for its aging residents.
But efforts are underway to change that.
Coldstream Meadows has been striving to gain a licensed care facility for a number of years, but has failed to win a request for proposal from Interior Health. The last RFP was awarded to Lumby and Coldstream Meadows wants to be ready when the next one comes.
“We don’t know when it will be but we certainly know there are demands for it, especially in our area because we’ve all read and heard about the issues at the hospital,” said Coldstream Meadows owner Jack Borden, of aging residents needing care taking up spaces at the hospital.
“I believe Coldstream is the largest municipality in B.C. without a funded licensed care facility.”
Several Coldstream politicians agree they could be doing more to lobby for licensed care in their community.
“This falls back onto us as well to push this forward and talk to our MLA,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.
Coldstream Meadows is currently home to 106 units of independent and assisted living. But none are licensed care facilities.
Therefore as part of its plans to expand with another 164 units, Coldstream Meadows is seeking a zoning change. The expansion would include a future licensed care facility.
But there has been some debate among Coldstream politicians over how many licensed units the development should be allowed to proceed with.
“We would like to see 75 available for the licensed care facility,” said Michael Reiley, Coldstream’s director of development services. “If IHA called for 60 units council could accommodate that change.”
But the developer, as well as several councillors, say the 75 starting number is too high. “It’s too restrictive,” said Borden. “What I feel would be more palatable is 55, even 60.”
Therefore restrictive covenants are being prepared which would allow 49 units in a complex of six-plexes, plus a maximum of 55 non-licensed units which would leave 60 units for a potential licensed care facility. If all of these were built that would bring Coldstream Meadows up to its 270-unit maximum. If the development proceeds, a two-acre park would also be dedicated to Coldstream.
There have been concerns from neighbours about the potential size of the development, as well as assurances that a licensed care facility would actually be constructed.
“It appears that it may never happen,” said Coun. Gyula Kiss.
Garlick and Coldstream staff recently met with the neighbours to go over the plan and hear their concerns.
They also met with existing Coldstream Meadows residents, who have concerns about emergency access, the size and scope of the development, but are also eager to see a licensed facility brought into Coldstream.
“They are looking for continued care for their life,” said Garlick.